7 Things we learnt from day one of the Fiji Pro
Today, round one of the Fiji Pro was finished at imperfect Cloudbreak. You were probably glued to the forecast and formed many opinions, which we’ll be thrilled to read below. But first, here’s seven observations from one of pro surfing’s great observers, South-African ex-pro and ex-commentator, Dooma Fahrenfort. Words by Damien Fahrenfort 1. The girls might get better […]
Today, round one of the Fiji Pro was finished at imperfect Cloudbreak. You were probably glued to the forecast and formed many opinions, which we’ll be thrilled to read below. But first, here’s seven observations from one of pro surfing’s great observers, South-African ex-pro and ex-commentator, Dooma Fahrenfort.
Words by Damien Fahrenfort
1. The girls might get better waves than the guys, again. A slightly depressing day of surfing. Well, maybe not depressing, but a let down at least. After a week of lay days, during which it looked like they had better waves in the freesurfs than the event today, I was jazzed up and horny to torch a few hours at the office when I saw they called it on. Unfortunately the day of surfing that unfolded was almost as exciting as watching the girls blow perfect Fijian waves. Maybe it’s time to switch the dates of the guys and girls around, but with the swell coming, maybe not. Or, don’t take the girls back to Fiji so we don’t have to endure the false claims of their heroic antics.
2. Jay Davies really wants to be on tour. Claiming a mediocre barrel? And by mediocre, I’m talking in the scheme of his barrel existence, of course. After the WSL reset the rules this year allowing wildcards to keep their points, it looks like Jay acknowledges this will be probably be the only chance he gets to qualify, as long as the QS events are in such shit waves. I wasn’t sure how he’d go on his backhand when it was small, but he surfed really well today. Fun fact, I was once in Indo with Kelly for a Quik trip and Jay had just dropped a clip; after watching it together, Kelly shrugged his shoulders and said to the team, this guy is so much better than a lot of guys on tour, I’d be really pumped to see him in the 34.
CJ, wearing Kelly’s jersey. Mr Slater indulged CJ’s retiring wish to wear the number 11: CJ says that he’s still a huge fanboy.
3. CJ Hobgood is retiring, again. Unless he requalifies of course, then we’ll beg him to stay, or donate his spot to Damo. While all the new kids are exciting there’s something nostalgic about CJ’s surfing. He pulls hail mary airs but uses the rail as well as anyone too. While it hasn’t been easy watching CJ lose a lot in the last few years, he will be missed and it’s going to be fun watching him at the next few events while he puts no expectations on himself. Remember those early Rusty days with him and Damo? Man, they made me wish I had a brother, and that I could surf.
Photo: WSL/Stephen Robertson
4. Mick’s a safe bet. If you’re a betting man and the contest is going to run at Cloudbreak, I’d put some cash on Mick in the next few rounds. He surfed the best out of anyone today, even though his scores mightn’t have been the highest, but the way he surfed the waves he caught was inspiring. He looks good and when De Souza or Filipe slip, Mick will get busy and bank a keeper this event. Unless he runs into Slater early, because ain’t no one beating the bald man this comp from here.
Photo: WSL/Stephen Robertson
5. Gabs Medina is back, thank God. Finally, it’s been a tough year for the young world champ. He’s been surfing great but couldn’t put it together, until now. He surfed really well in this heat but he still fell a lot, which is rare for him. I think Gabs will go well here but maybe at J Bay which means this year is a wash for him. I’d love to see him producing more free surfing content, because we’re a brutal crowd and when we’re only seeing these guys surf heats so he might be tearing outside of heats but if we’re not seeing this then we can only assume his surfing isn’t quite right.
6. Italo Ferreira. Man when this guy qualified I wasn’t too sure about him, I knew he could air but thought his turns were pretty shit. Then he beat Kelly at Snapper, which was cool and stuff but the waves were horse shit. I knew he would go well in Brazil but I never expected him to surf so good at Fiji. This guy is the real deal, sure he still has a few kinks and weird bobbles but he’ll work those out quick. What he did really well was hold his rail through turns and time his moves perfectly. I’m really excited to see how he go’s in the bigger stuff but if he’s anything like the rest of the Brazilian crew he’ll throw himself over the ledge.
7. Can we get Pete Mel back in the boat/water? Striders polo shirt in the lineup? I mean, fuck. Let that dad bod fly. I’ll leave this one to you guys.
P.S: How good was Jadson. I give him a fair bit of shit when I write these wrap ups usually but he got me pumped seeing how hard he was going, hitting sections late, charging that foamy close out and then hearing him rap out on the webcast.
Fiji Pro Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 12.20, Kolohe Andino (USA) 11.54, Kelly Slater (USA) 11.37
Heat 2: Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.33, Matt Banting (AUS) 11.13, Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 10.50
Heat 3: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 13.84, Jay Davies (AUS) 13.17, Josh Kerr (AUS) 5.07
Heat 4: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.16, Dane Reynolds (USA) 8.53, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 8.50
Heat 5: Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.77, Ricardo Christie (NZL) 9.26, Aca Ravulo (FJI) 5.40
Heat 6: Kai Otton (AUS) 15.60, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 8.86, Inia Nakalevu (FJI) 5.30
Heat 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.13, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.93, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 10.67
Heat 8: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 14.00, Owen Wright (AUS) 13.67, Dusty Payne (HAW) 7.50
Heat 9: Nat Young (USA) 13.00, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 11.57, Glenn Hall (IRL) 10.77
Heat 10: Jadson Andre (BRA) 15.17, Adam Melling (AUS) 14.60, Julian Wilson (AUS) 11.34
Heat 11: Keanu Asing (HAW) 11.50, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 10.93, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 6.33
Heat 12: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 15.97, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.20, Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 11.47
Fiji Pro Round 2 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Inia Nakalevu (FJI)
Heat 2: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Aca Ravulo (FJI)
Heat 3: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Dane Reynolds (USA)
Heat 4: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Jay Davies (AUS)
Heat 5: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Aritz Aranburu (ESP)
Heat 6: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Heat 7: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 8: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Glenn Hall (IRL)
Heat 9: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 10: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 11: Jeremy Flores (AUS) vs. Ricard Christie (NZL)
Heat 12: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Matt Banting (AUS)
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To win, just go buy a Corona at selected venues across Australia in June, head here, enter your details and unique product code to get in the mix with a chance to win.
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